Depression and Drug Metabolism
Many patients come to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion with the hope of finding a more effective treatment for their depression that has not responded well to antidepressant drugs. These patients have often become discouraged by repeated unsuccessful medication trials. Under Dr. Mrazek's direction, the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology is working with the Department of Laboratory Medicine to develop a new test that will give physicians information about selecting the right drug for each patient. This new test can reveal whether the patient has a gene that negatively influences how the body uses different medications. Many of the patients who come for a comprehensive evaluation may have one or more of these problematic genes.
Another major concern is that some patients have uncomfortable side effects after taking certain antidepressant drugs. The new test will also give physicians information about the most appropriate drug to use for each individual patient to avoid these side effects. The test will require a single blood sample and is referred to as the "p450 microarray analysis." Microarray analysis is a new technology that can identify genes that lead to problematic metabolism of antidepressant drugs.
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